SOU, RCC get scholarships for minority students – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Schools will receive a total of $552,358 in federal funds for programs benefiting minorities

A student climbs one of the stairwells at the RCC/SOU Higher Education Center in Medford. [Mail Tribune/file photo]

The US Department of Education recently awarded Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College more than $500,000 combined to help underrepresented students pursue higher education.

American senses Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden jointly announced that RCC will receive $277,375 for its talent search program, while SOU will receive $274,983 for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement program.

“This incredibly important funding will provide critical support for our rural students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain opportunities and pathways to higher education that may not have been accessible without these scholarships,” Merkley said. in a press release.

Wyden added, “I am pleased (that) these federal investments in Oregon recognize these difficult challenges for rural and urban students.”

Both Talent Search and McNair are considered programs under TRiO — not an acronym, but rather the name of a small number of programs funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Talent Search helps underrepresented students in grades 6-12 complete high school and enroll in post-secondary education. McNair aims to prepare underrepresented undergraduates for a doctoral program, hoping to increase the number of people with such degrees.

McNair Fellows

The McNair Scholars program is named for Ronald McNair, the astronaut who was killed aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded in 1986. After his death, Congress and his family set aside funds for the National program. SOU was named a McNair Scholars Program institution in 2003.

SOU serves 28 McNair Scholars Program recipients a year, according to program coordinator Naomi McCreary.

In a written statement to the newspaper, McCreary explained that the U.S. Department of Education grant responsible for funding McNair Scholars operates on a 5-year cycle. With the previous cycle in place, SOU is now entering its fifth, which will run through 2027. With an allocation of $274,983 for each academic year, SOU receives funds totaling $1,374,915 over the 5 grant cycle. year.

“I am thrilled that the Department of Education has recognized the incredible work the McNair program at Southern Oregon University has done since 2003 and felt it should continue to be funded,” McCreary wrote in an email. . “This funding/program is so important to our rural community to help students recognize and realize their potential.

Katie Minich, a senior SOU majoring in sociology and anthropology, hopes to be one of them. A 35-year-old mother of three who runs her own business, she’s proud to say she’s also a first-generation student.

Applying to be a McNair Fellow took a lot of work, she said, but it was worth it. Being a researcher involves conducting research that is published in the “McNair Journal” each year.

“That maybe gives you a lot of advantage over other people who are doing undergraduate studies,” Minich said.

Quinn Reynolds, an SOU undergraduate majoring in biology, said he hopes to go to the University of Washington in Seattle, focusing on biomedical research. Reynolds was not always interested in higher education, but his mentors convinced him otherwise.

“I realized there were other avenues, one of which was graduate school, and McNair actually allowed me to explore graduate school applications,” said Reynolds, who was not not even sure of being accepted into the McNair Scholars program. “Well, I got in and it’s been a wonderful, wonderful program.”

Talent Search

RCC has received the Talent Search Grant since the 2006-07 school year, supporting students at a few “Target Schools in Jackson County” including North Medford High School, Crater High, Prospect Charter School, Hedrick Middle School, and Scenic Middle School .

This new round of grants – totaling $605,788, taking into account last year’s and this year’s funding – gives RCC the capacity to serve 1,092 talent-seeking students, an increase of 500 over the previous year. last academic year. The money will also be used for various costs associated with finding talent, including hiring additional staff and the ability to provide free educational activities such as field trips to college campuses.

“The RCC is excited about the opportunity to expand our talent search programs in Jackson County to serve more young people,” said Hollie Adair, director of TRiO Equal Opportunity Centers and Talent Search.

Contact journalist Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.

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